A Ganar Youth Workforce Development Program
In the Dominican Republic, nearly one third of youth between the ages of 15-24 are unemployed. A lack of education and training leaves many youth unprepared to enter the formal job market. The majority of employed youth work in the informal sector, which means lower pay, no benefits, few legal protections, and instability. As a result, many youth are unable to provide for themselves and their families and are drawn to illegal activities, such as prostitution, drug trafficking, and crime.
Access to good jobs and the ability to earn a living wage are critical to breaking the cycle of poverty. A Ganar (Let’s Win or Let’s Earn) is a youth workforce development program designed to meet this need. Led by Partners of the Americas and financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), A Ganar has been implemented in 16 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. The program utilizes soccer and other team sports to provide youth with the training, support, and skills needed to secure a job and/or re-enter the formal education system. A Ganar is composed of four phases that focus on employability skills, market-driven technical and vocational skills, supervised professional internships, and follow-up coaching related to job preparation, search, and placement. DREAM is one of several implementing organizations in the Dominican Republic. Our work on the North Coast has graduated more than 200 at-risk youth via six intensive courses comprised of 375 hours each.
At-risk youth (ages 17 – 24) secure employment and/or enter the formal educational system while developing skills to improve their quality of life.
- Youth acquire job skills required by the active local labor market.
- Youth acquire the academic skills needed to be successful in the formal education system.
- Youth take measures to improve their quality of life.